Call It What You Will – It’s Here

December 14th, 2010

Andrew McAfee was the first to name it back in March 2006: the then-new phenomenon of companies leveraging Web 2.0 platforms and technologies inside the business – as a means to connect employees, make processes more efficient and/or connect with partners and customers.

He coined it “Enterprise 2.0.”

At the recent Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, there was, despite the event’s name, hot debate about whether the phenomenon should be called “social business.” Those in favor contrasted sharply with speakers cautioning us in the audience about using the word “social” at all, as it tends to spook the C-level.

[Is it more ironic, or more troubling, that executives should be so ignorant?]

Today, McKinsey Quarterly published a study on what they call the “networked enterprise,”  a “new class of company…that uses collaborative Web 2.0 technologies intensively to connect the internal efforts of employees and to extend the organization’s reach to customers, partners, and suppliers.”

The  article, “The rise of the networked enterprise: Web 2.0 finds its payday” indicates that “fully networked enterprises,” those successful at leveraging Web 2.0 both internally and externally, note improvements in market share gains, operating margins and market leadership.

They also provide a pretty cool interactive tool that charts the data from four years of Web 2.0 survey results. The survey explores business use of 12 technologies and tools:

Blogs, mash-ups (a Web application combines multiple sources of data into a single tool), microblogging, peer to peer, podcasts, prediction markets, rating, RSS (Really Simple Syndication), social networking, tagging, video sharing, and wikis.

Now, I’m not sure I would go so far as to say that if McKinsey says it, it must be true; however, I think it’s fair to say that it’s worth paying close attention.

Which I intend to keep doing.

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